NHRA Announces New Penalties

NHRA Gatornationals Richie Crampton
Photo: Courtesy of NHRA

There’s nothing to like about oil-downs. They’re costly, they take way too much time to clean up and they stink for the environment. It’s horrible when a car crosses the centerline during competition or takes out the timing blocks. NHRA has decided to enforce further penalties for these types of egregious behaviors, starting with this weekend’s Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.

The penalties will apply for both Mello Yello pro drivers and riders and for Lucas Oil amateur competitors at National Events. Leading toward the coming race weekend, NHRA has decided that, in addition to current centerline crossings and/or striking of timing blocks penalties, which disqualify the run and its times, the sanction will impose further penalties.

If a competitor crosses the centerline and/or strikes the centerline timing blocks during both qualifying and eliminations competition, they’ll lose five NHRA points for the first offense and ten for a second offense, while all subsequent violations mean a loss of 15 points per violation.

“Crossing the centerline and/or striking timing blocks is a serious safety concern and causes delays in racing due to cleanup time required for such incidents,” NHRA said.

Points to take into account for this change are that the policy includes the entire distance from the start line to the traditional quarter-mile finish line at 1,320 feet.

For Top Fuel and Funny Car entries that race to 1,000 feet, the penalty will take effect beyond their finish line at 1,000 feet up to the 1,320-foot marker. By the same token, these two categories will not be subject to the standard disqualification of the run, loss of elapsed-time policy for this specific violation in their shut-down area.

If a competitor manages to both oil-down the track and cross the centerline/hit the timing block in the same run, the oil-down points policy – and disqualification of the run – will apply. It will not result in a double points penalty. Finally, crossing the centerline during a burnout is not considered a violation of this new policy.

These new edicts take effect at Gainesville this weekend and applies to all riders/drivers in every NHRA category contested at each NHRA National Event.

About Anne Proffit 185 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

15 Comments on NHRA Announces New Penalties

  1. This should drastically reduce the number of drivers who intentionally aim for disqualification and who get their kicks out of destroying timing blocks and damaging expensive body work. Just what the world needs, more rules and regulations. I see TVs fingerprints all over this.

    • The nhra and nascar have priced out the average guys already and now there gunna price out the racers…DUMBAZZES…

    • So you’re saying fans won’t support the sport anymore because the cars are not allowed to cross the center line or take the blocks out? In 50+ plus years of going to the track AND racing I never remember once saying ” Damn, I sure hope somebody hits those timing blocks today because if they don’t, I’m never going to the track again ! ” Stupid

  2. I would like to have all of the brainiacs that impose these STUPID RULES Put themselves in the seat of these rocket ships and experience the HORSEPOWER AND TORQUE and they would see just what happens when you have no control over the tires and track and what can and will take place ?? These drivers and crew DONT GO OUT THERE AND PURPOSELY CROSS THE CENTER LINE JUST TO PISS OFF NHRA AND THERE DEEEP POCKETS THAT THEY GET FROM RIPPING OFF THE ” FANS ” AND THE RACE TEAMS AT EVERY NATIONAL EVENT !!!! NON-PROFIT MY ASS !!! I have been on both sides and have experienced the rip off to the point of not being financially able to attend unless I can score a (1 ) ticket or a pass from my local track that I USED TO WORK FOR BUT CHOSE NOT TO SUPPORT THE NEVER HELP RACERS AGAIN ( NHRA ) !!!

    • Hello CVS? Yeah Steve will be stopping by today. He ran out of his medications. Can you please double the dosage for him ? Ok thank you. Oh wait….but not the Viagra

    • They are driven by how many runs they can squeeze into their micro time slots. They have even taken to editing the “live” (second session) runs they are supposedly broadcasting on Fri. night. But, yes, every single f/c driver cannot WAIT to badly damage their dime a dozen funny car bodies and wraps by hitting a cone at speed. Ask John how much fun Xing the CL and encountering, like an Argentinian bolo encountering, his opponent is. What a bunch of BS. Yeah, I know they are all about safety, and that crashing – even if you aren’t hurt – is the antithesis of safety. But NEWS FLASH, NHRA: Driving ANYthing with 11,000 horsepower that weighs less than 15,000 pounds, is ALSO

  3. Looks like, TV rules. Time is money. I agree with the racers…they need more rules? Why would they intentionally do any of these? Racing is what it is. Like baseball. Speed up the game. Speed up the action. Baseball and racing have their oown speed. Punishing the parrticipants is one sure way of kickingthe little guy out.

  4. If the NHRA was serious about safety, they would separate the lanes with concrete Jersey barriers for the full length of the track..!

    • They are already destroying it with the “4 wide crap” that’s not drag racing. Make it 8 wide & we can get thru the pro’s in a 1 hour TV slot!

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